PreGame Skate: Phoenix Coyotes

Returning home after shutting out the Carolina Hurricanes, the Buffalo Sabres look to shrug the woes of their play at home by taking advantage of a team on the long end of a lengthy road trip.  The Phoenix Coyotes are in town, and are playing the fourth of five games away from Glendale Arizona.

Both the Sabres and the ‘Yotes have six wins in their last ten games.  The contest is a crucial one for the Buffalo Sabres.  Depending on the outcome of the Philadelphia Flyers vs. Winnipeg Jets game, the Buffalo Sabres could see themselves standing atop the Eastern Conference, and not just their division, with tonight’s win putting them just one point behind the conference leading Flyers.   A Sabres victory also moves the team to above the .500 mark at home.  It will not be an easy contest for the Buffalo squad however.  While the Coyotes are hovering at the middle of the Western Conference, there is only a game or two separating them from the lower tiered teams.  With that, the ‘Yotes are an impressive 5-2-1 away from the distractions of the ownership situations in Glendale.

Jhonas Enroth will probably get the start in the back to back contest after standing “tall” in the net against the Hurricanes.  With Ryan Miller still out feeling the effects of the hit by Lucic, Enroth continues to validate his worth and prove that size doesn’t always matter.  With only one regulation loss to his credit in the last calendar year – the kid is going to have some down parts to his game, but the Buffalo Sabres have a worthy backup that is going to help keep them atop the standings while Ryan miller finds his way back to the crease.  The good thing about having a quality backup, is the organization and Ryan Miller do not have to rush the healing process to get a points in the win column.

The Coyotes are also placing a lot of credit and weight on an unsung hero, as their goaltender Mike Smith is another no-named goaltender making waves and turning heads.

It’s an evening affair tomorrow with the Coyotes, something that will factor into the equation, with faceoff two hours earlier in the day.  Puck Drop is scheduled for 5PM.

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Tags: Arizona Buffalo Sabres Carolina Hurricanes Conference First Place Glendale Jhonas Enroth Mike Smith Milan Lucic Philadelphia Flyers Phoenix Coyotes Shutout Winnipeg Jets

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